What type of diabetes do you have:
When were you diagnosed:
I had just started kindergarten, so I was 5 years old, and my best estimation is that it was October 23, 1978. I’m actually not 100% sure about the date, but based on questioning my mom about what she recalls, this is the most likely day, thus I now celebrate it as my D-Anniversary.
What’s your current blood sugar:
215mg/dL… I ate breakfast an hour ago, and I made my seasonal switch to hot cereal from cold cereal only a few days ago, but I don’t remember how to time my bolus, so I’m still working on that.
What kind of meter do you use:
I’m still using One Touch meters, the Mini and the Link, which is dumb because you can’t even “link” it with the Minimed Guardian, but I use it because I broke my One Touch Ultra. I still want to switch brands, as I expressed last month, because it irritates me that the BG strips are miniature billboards now. I’ve done some cursory research into what non-billboard strips are out there, and some Accu-Chek strips are plain, so as of now, that’s the top contender. This strip branding thing has become a major D pet peeve of mine. Why on earth do we need to be reminded of the brand of meter we use like that? Or are they depending on us dropping strips so other people see that brand X is the brand to use? I find the whole thing bloody insulting, no pun intended, because I’m using strips to live, but they’re using me as their marketing vehicle. Are any meter companies paying attention to this complaint?
How many times a day do you check your blood sugar:
That varies a lot. I reckon maybe 8-10, although if my CGM is holding steady, it can be less. If it’s high, and I’m trying to get it down, I’ll rage check to go with my rage bolusing, so it can be more often too. Although, the obvious problem with rage checking a high is that it skews the meter average. That sounds really crazy. Diabetes sure screws with your head, doesn’t it?
What’s a “high” number for you:
I guess I get displeased with anything over 160 or so, although I’ll correct for anything over 120 or 130 as long as I’m not about to do something that could drop it.
What do you consider “low”:
I’ll treat for readings less than 80, unless it’s close to a meal time, or I don’t feel symptomatic and my CGM is holding steady. Although if I check and it’s 80-something, and I feel symptomatic or I’m about to do something that will likely drop my BG, I’ll have a little something. So I guess in the end, it depends more on how I feel and what I’m about to do than what the meter says.
What’s your favorite low blood sugar reaction treater:
First, it made me smile that the question uses the word, “reaction”. I almost never hear it called that anymore, but that’s what I knew it to be commonly called when I was a kid. Anyway, my “favorite” low treatments aren’t favorites at all. I purposefully treat lows with things that eliminate any temptation to over-treat. When I’m out and about, I carry hard peppermints – 3 are 15g carbs. When I’m hanging around at home, I go for 4oz Minute Maid blueberry juice. I have a glass just for it. Next to my bed, I keep little juice boxes that are 15 or 16g carbs, depending on the brand and flavor. I usually use fruit punch flavor, but I like berry, or orange-tangerine. Recently I discovered Juicy Juice makes a strawberry-kiwi flavor, and this is my new favorite flavor. I only drink 100% juice – no sugar water fruit-flavored drinks for me unless that’s all that’s available, thanks. Oh, and I use glucose tabs sometimes because like I said, I don’t want to be tempted to over-treat.
Describe your dream endo:
Ryan Reynolds in a white coat. Oh… that’s not what you meant? OK, well, I am partial to younger-ish female doctors. Probably someone who also has T1, who wears a pump and CGM, and has a frikkin clue about the psychological baggage that comes with diabetes. A doctor with lots of free samples, and someone whose office is within 10 minutes of my house. Someone who’s hip to the arts in healthcare movement, and has an appreciation for visual art. A snarky sense of humor would rock. That’s way more reasonable than Ryan!
What’s your biggest diabetes achievement:
Hi, nice to meet you. I’m Lee Ann, and my diabetes management was non-existent to paltry at best for half of my teens, almost all of my 20’s, and some of my 30’s. I was the poster child for everything that can go wrong diabetically and psychologically speaking, but I got myself together, and here I am, not quite the picture of health, unless you consider how I mistreated my body, in which case, I’m in really good shape. I’m darn proud of conquering my denial and anger because I think everyone had given up on me, and to a large extent, I’d given up on myself. *pat self on back*
What’s your biggest diabetes-related fear:
Lately, I’ve been scared to death I’m going to drop dead of a heart attack or stroke. I’ve had stress tests, and I take heart, cholesterol and BP meds, but in the end, there’s only so much that can be done to predict or prevent that, and even when you do everything right, it can still get you. Freaks me the bleep out.
Also worth a mention, like others who’ve done this meme, dying in my sleep from a hypo also spooks me pretty badly.
Who’s on your support team:
Honestly, the doctor/medical people are pretty peripheral, although mine are good for what they do. Jason is numero uno. We don’t talk about D all that much, almost never really, but he gets me juice, and seems to know just the right amount of nagging to do when I need that little external push. Plus, I’m losing count of how many times he’s saved my life, so ya, mad props to him. After that, it’s totally you guys. I can’t even imagine doing this full-throttle without all of you.
Do you think there will be a cure in your lifetime:
Ya, right. *roll eyes* I’m sure someday it’ll exist, the same as someday we’ll have spaceships instead of cars, and we’ll live in different galaxies. That means not anytime soon. I’ll gladly eat my words if I’m wrong, but I expect more of what I’ve seen in my lifetime – two steps forward, one step back, without ever getting to the proverbial finish line.
What is a “cure” to you:
What kind of asinine question is this? It’s when someone whose beta cells were previously broken, can eat, sleep, shop, roller skate, splash in the ocean, have sex, drink margaritas – not necessarily in that order – without having to think about their BG, or fear passing out and possibly dying, or whether or not they have an extra infusion set, or enough BG strips, or enough glucose tabs, or…
C’mon, folks, like the rest of the non-diabetic people.
The most annoying thing people say to you about your diabetes is:
Heh. I have to pick just one? Honestly, the people who know me don’t say much since most of them have perused the blog on occasion or caught one of my Buddybook rants. Although, they make me laugh when they intentionally make the sort of comments I’ve been known to skewer. The rest of humanity though…
“At least it’s not cancer” rates really high up there. I appreciate that cancer is a terrible disease, to say the least. I’ve had friends and family who’ve suffered from cancer. I had my own cancer scare before the lumps in my breasts were properly diagnosed as diabetic mastopathy. That being said, I’d like to assure everyone that diabetes is no beach picnic either. It doesn’t come with any hope of remission, and the medical outcome depends almost solely on patient (or patient caregiver) decisions and actions made every moment of every single day without a break ever. I don’t even have a good analogy to help explain the level of responsibility that comes with diabetes management or the psychological and emotional burden it creates. Cancer sucks, but diabetes is just a different flavor of suck, so don’t tell me I should be grateful.
“Can /should you eat that?” In an alternate universe, I’d walk around asking people this question so they understand how rude and intrusive it is. The problem is that I will make some effort to explain why I can eat whatever I’m reaching for because if I don’t, they’ll just assume I’m not taking care of myself, and that seriously bugs me. I know it’s screwy that it wouldn’t bother me if someone thought I was rude for offering a snarky response, but it would bother me if they thought I wasn’t managing my diabetes.
“Diet soda isn’t good you.” This one makes my blood boil. Shut your pie-hole and mind your beeswax. *slurp Diet Coke*
What is the most common misconception about diabetes:
Like the question above it, there are too many viable responses to this. However, that doesn’t mean I won’t offer some of my favorite examples.
I especially dislike the belief that if I just do certain things – eat a certain way, take a certain amount of insulin – I will get the intended results. People don’t get that what works one day doesn’t necessarily work the next, and that successful management is contingent on the mazillion thoughts and actions we are perpetually making, which in the end are only guesses about what we hope is going to work.
I also dislike that people think the pump functions like a pancreas. We joke about it being a portable or plastic pancreas, but that’s only to make light of being tethered to a device that makes us look like drug dealers, circa 1992. It’s so far from an actual functioning pancreas because it’s useless unless we tell it what to do.
Then there’s the notion that there are good and bad foods or special foods we’re supposed to eat, like we’re dogs who perform best on a certain brand of dog food.
Then there’s the really stupid stuff, like we did something to cause it (i.e. we ate too much sugar), or “juvenile” diabetes magically transforms to “adult” diabetes when we turn 18. Too dumb for words.
If you could say one thing to your pancreas, what would it be:
What do you mean, if? I regularly tell it it’s a useless POS.